We’ve got a major Philadelphia Phillies news dump on a Friday afternoon! As first reported by MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, and confirmed by Phillies Nation‘s Tim Kelly, the Phillies red “getaway” jerseys will be no more.
The Phillies are falling victim to MLB’s exclusive uniform agreement with Nike. Known amongst uni-watchers (™ by Paul Lukas) as the “Nike 4+1 Rule”, Nike will only produce four uniform sets plus a City Connect uniform per team. In the case of the Phillies, the Fightin’s have their home white uniforms, home cream alternate uniforms, throwback Thursday baby blue uniforms, and their road gray uniforms. The red “getaway” jersey, which was exclusively worn on the getaway days, is the odd man jersey out.
The red “softball” top jerseys, which were paired with the white home and grey road pants, were first introduced as a game day alternate jersey for the 2016 MLB regular season. As Kelly points out, the red jersey top only lasted two-seasons before it was mothballed prior to the 2018 MLB regular season reverting back to a Grapefruit League-only top. The Phillies brought the jersey back into the rotation for the 2021 season where it became the Phils’ getaway day jersey of choice. According to the Baseball Hall of Fame Dressed to the Nines uniform database, the Phillies had only worn red or maroon as their batting practice/Grapefruit League jersey with the exception of one appearance in 1979. Known as the “Saturday Night Special” uniforms, the Phillies donned an all-maroon uniform for one game before they were sent away for 40-years.
The MLB/Nike City Connect uniforms are designed to reflect the cultural aspect of each team’s home city or something like that. Some are pretty solid, the Boston Red Sox “Boston Strong” set is pretty sharp. Same with the Miami Marlins’ set which honors the Havana Sugar Kings and the Colorado Rockies’ “evergreen” set. Others, well, they’re not so great and are clearly just a cheap marketing ploy.
As for the Phillies City Connect uniforms, they’ll be unveiled at some point before they’re worn during the 2024 season. A few mockups are out there on the interwebs that could work, however there’s no official word on what direction the Phillies, MLB, and Nike will go.